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March 2016

How the mighty have fallen at Fairfax

I was with Fairfax in Brisbane from 2007 until late 2010.   I thought we had a great relationship - and Fairfax seemed really happy too.   During 2010 Fairfax started dropping hints we would be even happier if I moved closer to the Fairfax family home in Sydney.

You don't make a move like that lightly.   I spoke with mates and people who knew Fairfax well.   In the end we agreed that the move made sense for both of us and off I went.   By Christmas 2010 I was in Sydney and on the air with 2UE.  I also wrote a column for the Sydney Morning Herald - and I spent a lot of time at the Fairfax HQ with then SMH editor Peter Fray.

My first impression of walking into the Fairfax building at Pyrmont was of spartan furnishings in the area before the security entrance.   That was where members of the public or people with appointments to see Fairfax operatives waited and chatted with the security officers before being signed in.

But once through those sliding glass doors, a subsidised wonderland awaited.   The entire ground floor was dedicated to the Fairfax internal cafe society.   The place buzzed with chats over cappuccino and the message downstairs was subtle but unmissable - we aim to delight the inner city refined palate.   This was no ordinary staff cafe - because Fairfax staff aren't just extraordinary, they don't seem to believe they are staff or workers at all.

David Marr was usually holding court with adoring acolytes in a large coffee sipping circle.   It didn't matter what time of day, the social hub downstairs was always buzzing.   

I spoke with Peter about it - who's running the show, the bosses or David Marr?  He was pretty frank about the difficulties in managing the SMH journalists who were strong willed as to what they wanted to write about.   Les Patterson's request that Gough cough up a cheque "and I'm talking telephone numbers"  for Les's pet black, disabled, lesbian puppet theatre workshop sprang to mind.

Soon after Peter was made redundant.   He was no longer a fit.  After that Fairfax achieved what I would have thought was the impossible, it lurched even further to the left.

And its quality started turning to shit.

I never thought I'd read about what happened at Fairfax in 2011, let alone that it would be happening to me.

Talkback host Michael Smith told to sign gag order

2ue abbott

BROADCASTER Michael Smith must make an undertaking not to broadcast material from an interview with Bob Kernohan, former president of the Australian Workers Union, before he returns to air on Sydney's 2UE.

Smith was suspended on Tuesday as Fairfax Media and 2UE management investigated material to be aired in Smith's interview with Mr Kernohan, including allegations of misappropriated union funds.

Yesterday, 2UE management issued Smith with a document requiring his undertaking not to broadcast material from the interview unless the station has evidence to support any claims that will be made.

"If he signs the document, he'll be back on air tomorrow (Friday)," said Fairfax's head of radio, Graham Mott. "If he doesn't we'll have to reconsider our positions."

Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood had no qualms over the suspension. "That was Graham Mott's decision, which I fully support."

The afternoon host remains indignant about the neutering of his questioning of alleged misallocation of union funds by Bruce Wilson, with whom Julia Gillard had a personal relationship before she entered politics.

"This country's pretty screwed up if decent, working people can't turn to a free and open media to have their say," Smith said last night.

See more at: The Australian

Fairfax's downward spiral over the past few years has been marked by some standout moments.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 3.07.06 am

I wrote a column in October 2013 about Fairfax radio - it's just like the ABC with ads.   If you're up against a wholly government funded competitor, you're unlikely to make much commercial return by delivering the same content with the innovative enhancement of punctuation by ads.

Fairfax's management decisions have been the major reason for its downfall.  Its outsourcing decisions have resulted in the publication of newspapers like this issue of the AFR, sent to the printing presses without anyone noticing, then onto the trucks, on the road and into the newsagents - again without anyone in charge doing anything to fix the debacle.

Fairfax's paying customers had the whole Anzac Day long weekend to consider the AFR's Anzac Day Bumper edition's reflection of the brand attributes Fairfax CEO's brought to the company - as I wrote in a column at the time

Fairfax reflecting Greg Hywood's vision - lean, agile and fukt

The Australian Financial Review was once taken seriously.

This is the Australian Financial Review's front page, as printed, for the Anzac Day bumper long weekend edition.

Weekend fin

It's making headlines around the world.   Referring to Tony Abbott's purchase of the Joint Strike Fighter, the front page says, "Arms Build Up, Buys Planes, World is Fukt".  

Here's how BuzzFeed, a news website in the US saw it:

Buys planes world is fukt

World is fukt

The AFR was lecturing in punctuation too.

Passion for punctuation

But it's all going to plan according to the cost reducing CEO Greg Hywood.  


He's the man who's leading the cost reductions and Fairfax of the Future push. 

He spoke fondly of being the "leader in change" in his speech to shareholders recently.

Hywood speech


Last week Fairfax got rid of 120 more journalists.   Its decline seems terminal.  It was so abjectly incompetent in restoring the fortunes of its national network of radio stations that it merged them into a competitor's operation. The Sydney station 2UE is now known for its.....sorry, I can't find an answer to that question.

As we heard the stories of Fairfax's dramas last week, I noticed this message from one of the Fairfax stable of columnists.    A regular at the cafe society sessions downstairs at Pyrmont, Annabel Crabbe.




I suppose you can pop off to discuss the day cheerily when you live in a government funded utopia, isolated from ordinary concerns and insulated from the mundane financial insecurities most of us have in our lives.   In 2013 we read of the unspeakable disaster that someone had a copy of the ABC's internal payroll information, a dreadful unprincipled invasion of privacy (as opposed to the actions of heroic Julian Assange or courageous Edward Snowden).

Annabel was then paid $220,000 PA by the ABC to Tweet and write online columns about politics.   Which is code for take the piss out of Tony Abbott.

On air and off, the ABC spares no expense on its stars

THE ABC is paying eight broadcasters more than $250,000 a year, with Q&A and Lateline host Tony Jones leading the pack on an annual salary of more than $350,000.


The ABC received $1.03 billion of taxpayer funds last financial year, of which $465 million was spent on wages, superannuation and other entitlements.

Jones is the public broadcaster's highest-paid presenter, earning $355,789 in basic pay last year, but he is yet to hit the pay level reached by former long-serving 7.30 Report host Kerry O'Brien, who earned $365,246 in 2009-10, according to the documents.


Only the organisation's managing director, Mark Scott, chief operating officer David Pendleton and then director of television Kim Dalton are listed as earning more than Jones.

Scott's basic pay is recorded in the documents at $678,940, but with bonuses it is listed in the ABC's latest annual report as $773,787. Pendleton is listed as earning $362,838, while Dalton, who was replaced by Richard Finlayson as director of television in April, was earning $359,238.

The 7.30 presenter Leigh Sales - credited for reinvigorating the flagship current affairs program following O'Brien's departure - is ranked eight journalists behind Jones, as the ABC's 18th-highest earner on $280,400 a year.

The documents show co-hosts on some programs are paid vastly different amounts. ABCTV Breakfast hosts Virginia Trioli earns $235,664 - about $84,000 more than co-host Michael Rowland on $151,006.

NSW weeknight news anchor Juanita Phillips is the broadcaster's second highest earning presenter on $316,454. Long-serving ABC journalist and presenter of Stateline in NSW, Quentin Dempster, is listed with an annual total salary of $291,505.

Former Media Watch presenter Jonathon Holmes, who had expressed opposition to the release of ABC salary information, was earning $187,380 as host of the weekly 15-minute program before he was replaced by Paul Barry in July. The program's executive producer, Lin Buckfield, is on $146,000.

The corporation's top-earning radio presenters are Sydney Drive's Richard Glover and Melbourne Mornings' Jon Faine, earning $290,000 and $285,249 respectively.

Former political editor Christopher Uhlmann is reported as earning $255,400 last year and Radio National's Breakfast host Fran Kelly is on $255,000. ABC's online political editor Annabel Crabb is on $217,426.


If viewers, readers and listeners can skip ads they will.   Worse still, why would a potential customer pay for an online subscription when they can get much the same for free elsewhere.   Faced with that reality, why on earth do Fairfax managers fold to the wishes of their staff  - providing the same style, tone and editorial content as the ABC?

And more importantly, what were we thinking allowing the ABC to morph into a multi media behemoth?   As Fairfax shareholders know,  the multi-platform ABC monster happily invades turf where commercial operators are already running businesses and serving customers.

We are all affected by the ABC, it's a very powerful organisation with direct reach into every Australian home.  Weak vacillating governments, like Turnbull's bend over backwards to accommodate its demands.

That's great if you agree with the ABC's worldview, but it's a real danger to our democracy and it's infuriating for Australians who aren't happy with the direction the ABC is taking us.



I'd just finished writing and publishing this story when I flipped over to Twitter - the first thing I read?




It had been reTweeted by  Mr Law who inadvertently sums up the irony of the luxuriously taxpayer funded employee of the ABC, Fairfax's government subsidised competitor and her passionate plea for all who supported #fairgofairfax over the weekend (presumably by retweeting) to subscribe.   Please.  Because to compete with its taxpayer funded competitor, Ms Crabb, Fairfax is now a "cheap as" operation.

Quite an overwhelming and humbling thank you from Anne, widow of the late Professor Bob Carter

Bob Carter, you've done it again!   The teacher arrives when the student is ready - well today a beautiful letter arrived from Anne Carter to say thank you for our note on Bob's life and legacy.

It is humbling to be among the titans of free speech, science and democracy who were moved to write about Bob.  They give us this breathtaking record of Bob's life-work and its nett worth in ways that no job application or academic CV could ever hope to communicate.

People who've taken the time to understand complex issues like AGW  and who've written so beautifully about Bob are in the minority.   We'd never win a popular vote against the great majority.   On these election-turning issues, the majority wins.  Our politicians pay big money to find out what that majority thinks.   They act on data-led insights. Insights gained from expensive market research "innovations".  Innovations created by newly minted MBAs bouncing off walls in converted warehouses among glamorous secretaries.   Many leaders outsource their moral compass there too.   Data from the padded rooms says we are wrong about Bob and Tim Flannery is right about the weather.

Responsible governments only fund causes approved by the research.   Weird government decisions are probably less surprising when you consider they're based on  phone calls to pizza-eaters well into the sixpack after A Current Affair.  

It's a powerful self-fulfilling cycle.   Governments say things and make ads on the research, they track changes in the research and refine the messaging.   Even our surviving conservatives are affected on climate change, they might privately speak the unspeakable in support of Bob but would always caveat private support with an apology about the real-politic of a public position.

Bob's legacy has to be seen in this context.   It's a bloody hard life to hold your position against all of that but thank God people like Bob do. The notes about Bob you'll read below are not opinions designed to elicit approval.   They sound sincere, like things real people say because they are real thoughts from real humans.  

That's the way leaders used to sound too.   They said what they meant and they meant what they said.   Like Bob did.   That sort of thinking is being run out of town and it's so important  to recognise heroes of The Resistance like Bob. 

Our political leaders could learn from Bob.   They might have a thirst for knowledge, but they quench it in the Party room. 

What you'll read below about Bob would be a revelation to the majority of Australians.    He lived without danger of celebrity endorsement, our thought leaders preferring the selfie with more authoritative figures like Bob Geldof, Bono and Bill Clinton.

I mentioned the reliable teacher's arrival earlier.   Well Anne Carter, you're quite the latter day Mary Poppins dropping by right at that moment of need.

This morning I was seriously grappling with the is it all worth it question in my counter-cultural work here.  Our work meets a need that market research proves doesn't exist.  It's driven by outdated modalities and quaint pre-current-era moralities, Australians don't care about it and even the "ardent supporter" key demographic is expressing doubts.

Bob, your life proves to me that it is worth it, even though it mightn't show up in The Research.

Even in a perfectly informed market, the mob doesn't always get it right.  Social media hardly informs perfectly.   More so than ever before we risk serious accidents by taking directions from the mob.   

I've taken immense comfort from reading these reflections on the life of a bloke whose principled work was its own reward.  Anne it was so thoughtful of you to pass on all those wonderful memories about your late husband Bob in your thank you note to me today.

You'll never know how deeply I want to thank you for it.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 12.12.20 pm

A heartfelt thank you for sharing your memories of Bob which have helped buoy us through our very sad loss. It has been wonderful that so many friends, former students and professional colleagues have posted so many tributes to his life and scientific endeavours. I have attached a small selection below.

Bob’s passion for life and scientific truth will be remembered.

No need to grieve. His questing spirit soars,

To realms where nought of lasting value dies,

His mind and pen threw open unknown doors,

lluminating Earth’s untold mysteries.


Bob Carter RIP

9 March 1942 – 19 January 2016

If you would like to download a copy of Bob’s funeral program, you can do so from

With love,

Anne, Susan and Jeremy Carter

Fred Singer - I feel so privileged to have known and worked with Bob and to have shared the panel talks last month in Paris.   “He died with his boots on.”

Lord Christopher Monckton - We will remember him. He was our clearest voice of truth.

James Delingpole - We all loved Bob; we’re all going to miss him. He smiled as he fought and as Fred says he died with his boots on. What those of you who missed hanging with him in Paris last December should know is that he was on splendid form – hail, happy, looking like he was going to go on forever. Good old Bob with his dark Satanic beard and his impish smile. What a hero! What a friend! Just the kind of guy you want in the foxhole next to you!

Tom Harris International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) - Professor Carter was a very fine man — compassionate, intelligent and still hard working long after most people have retired. He will be sorely missed by many people. Bob was a great supporter of me and ICSC in general, helping providing the solid, rational science foundation to our work to bring climate realism to the general public. I feel privileged to have known Bob in the last few years of his life. I also feel privileged to have spent some time with him in Paris, DC, Chicago, NY and here in Ottawa when he was on a speaking tour of Canada.

Anthony Watts - To say that he was a man of good cheer and resilience would be an understatement. He not only bore the slings and arrows thrown his way by some of the ugliest people in the climate debate, he reciprocated with professionalism and honor, refusing to let them drag him into the quagmire of climate ugliness we have seen from so many climate activists. His duty, first and foremost was to truth.

Marc Morano at Climate Depot - Bob was a man of great courage, intellect and wit. I am deeply saddened by his passing. He easily seemed a decade younger than his 74 years with his youthful looks and energy level. the world of science has lost a true champion.

Willie Soon, Astrophysicist - …a true gentleman scientist and a friend and colleague that will be sorely missed … Bob has given everything he got in trying to educate the world on the danger of CO2 scare factor and a true champion of science …personally, he has taught me many, many things on Earth sciences … knowing and working with him has to be among the most special and happy times I have experienced in science …

Nigel Lawson, Baron Lawson of Blaby, PC, MP - Bob was a brave and delightful man, who made a hugely important contribution to the climate debate at considerable personal cost. He will be greatly missed.

David Rothbard at CFACT - Science lost a champion and we lost a friend. In 2010, then Czech President Vaclav Klaus wrote a fitting tribute to Bob titled, “Thank heavens for Bob Carter.”  We do thank God for Bob.  We will miss him terribly.

Joe Bast at Heartland Institute - Bob was the very embodiment of the “happy warrior” in the global warming debate. He was a scholar’s scholar, with impeccable credentials (including a Ph.D. from Cambridge), careful attention to detail, and a deep understanding of and commitment to the scientific method. He endured the slings and arrows of the anti-science Left with seeming ease and good humor and often warned against resorting to similar tactics to answer them.

Bob never failed to answer the call to defend climate science, getting on planes to make the long flight from Australia to the U.S., to Paris, and to other lands without complaints or excuses. He was a wonderful public speaker and a charming traveling mate. He was not an easy man to edit, though – he kept wanting to put unnecessary commas, “that’s,” and boldfacing back into his manuscripts — but the great ones never are.

Joanne Nova - One of the best things about being a skeptic are the people I’ve got to know, and Bob Carter was one of the best of them, sadly taken far too soon. He was outstanding, a true gem, a good soul, and an implacably rational thinker. A softly spoken man of conscience and good humour.

Bob was a man who followed the scientific path, no matter where it took him, and even if it cost him, career-wise, every last bell and whistle that the industry of science bestowed, right down to his very email address. After decades of excellent work, he continued on as an emeritus professor, speaking out in a calm and good natured way against poor reasoning and bad science. But the high road is the hard road and the university management tired of dealing with the awkward questions and the flack that comes with speaking truths that upset the gravy train. First James Cook University (JCU) took away his office, then they took his title. In protest at that, another professor hired Bob immediately for an hour a week so Bob could continue supervising students and keep his library access. But that was blocked as well, even the library pass and his email account were taken away, though they cost the University almost nothing.

It says a lot about the man that, despite the obstacles, he didn’t seem bitter and rarely complained. He dealt with it all with calm equanimity. Somehow he didn’t carry the bad treatment as excess baggage.  The only one in the chain at JCU who would always put science before politics was Professor Robert Carter. He was a rare and remarkable man, and I will keenly miss his wisdom and philosophical good nature.

Craig Idso - I had the privilege of knowing and working with Bob for the better part of the past decade. Along with Fred Singer, I served with Bob as a Lead Author on several volumes of work produced by the NIPCC. Putting together those volumes was always a Herculean task and Bob was an integral part of their success. He was a master of scientific knowledge and had an incredible talent of sharing that knowledge with others.

Bob had a long and storied career. For those who knew him best, it was not his career that kept his heart, but his dear, sweet companion Anne, who was always at his side and accompanied him to nearly every work-related conference and meeting he attended.

Steve Hyland - It was a privilege to be one of Bob’s undergraduate students in the mid 1980′s at James Cook University. I will always remember how he reinforced the importance of scientific method, which I probably didn’t fully appreciate at the time. I certainly do now in these ‘post modern’ times in science.

Steve McIntyre - In 2003, when I was unknown to anyone other than my friends and family, I had been posting comments on climate reconstructions at a chatline.  Bob emailed me out of the blue with encouragement, saying that I was looking at the data differently than anyone else and that I should definitely follow it through.  Without his specific encouragement, it is not for sure that I ever would have bothered trying to write up what became McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) or anything else. He was always full of good cheer, despite continuing provocations, and unfailingly encouraging.

Viv Forbes - Bob Carter was a shining light to those of us in Australia who benefitted from his leadership in the Earth Sciences. A great geologist, a sound scientist, a good friend, a superb speaker and illustrator, the sort of pedantic editor I appreciate, and good company. His leadership and advice in the great climate debate will be sadly missed, especially here in the Sunshine State.

Don Aitken (Former Chair of the Australian Research Council) - Bob was a lovely man. He was appointed to the Australian Research Grants Committee in 1987 when I was its Chairman, and stayed on in the Australian Research Council’s Earth Sciences group when the ARGC became the ARC. He was a feisty fighter for his discipline. As was common, he got to the position of assessing requests for money by having been a highly successful seeker of research funds himself. When I became interested in global warming ten years ago, Ian Castles, a great and former Australian Statistician, suggested that I should read his take on the issue, and Bob and I became in close contact again. Over the last ten years he has been one of the world’s best sceptics in this awful field of ‘climate change’. He writes well, bases himself on what is known, is alert to error and does not exaggerate. His passing is a great sadness to me, and will be to thousands of people he never met.’

Donna Laframboise - The first climate skeptic gathering this journalist attended was a 1-day event in 2009. There were numerous speakers, but Bob Carter’s calm, sensible, persuasive presentation was the one I most talked and thought about afterward. Having shared a stage with Bob twice in the past six months, I can say with perfect sincerity that he was kind, charming, and a gentleman.

Professor of Physics, Peter Ridd, Marine Geophysics Laboratory - Bob was truly one of the major influences in my life since he set up the Marine Geophysical Lab at JCU in the 80’s. I learnt so much about the perspective that only a geologist can bring – and a brilliant one at that.

 I can assure you that in addition to old post docs like me, there is a tribe of ex students who are very saddened by this news but grateful that they came under Bob’s spell for some of their formative years. He will be missed.

Bill Gray - What a great professional and personal loss for so many of us AGW critics with the news of the death of Bob Carter.  Bob gave so much of himself in recent years to holding the line against the false arguments and propaganda that has been so extensively advanced by global warming advocates.  We should all admire Bob’s courage and his insightful climate understanding which he so skilfully brought to bear to up-hold the integrity of science.  He leaves behind a most admirable legacy which will continue to inspire me and I’m sure many others to keep up our efforts to bring truth to the warming question….

Mark Steyn - Bob was no caricature of a wild-eyed denier, but in any almost any discussion invariably the most sane and sensible man on the panel. … A great scientist and a courageous and honorable man, he was full of joy and steel-spined, exactly the chap, as James Delingpole said, “you want in the foxhole standing next to you”.

Bob Carter was a great man. His greatness was located in something that we all recognized; his intelligent courage, perceptive kindness and an exuberant love of life. Here was a man who showed everyone how to stand up to bullying and cowardly malice with elegant dignity.

I think Bob understood human weakness without cynicism but he was baffled by the evasiveness of his opponents in the climate debate. How could they not see the truth, and why wouldn’t they face him openly? He felt that tribal allegiance or group think anxiety were at the heart of what passes for thought in our society.

John and Ingrida Spooner - Ingrida and I are grateful to have called Bob and Anne our friends. A conversation with Bob could range from politics to science and fine art. He always had sympathetic care for family life. In fact, he seemed to have a loving embrace for us all. He will be missed dreadfully by all who knew him.

John Roskam at Institute for Public Affairs - Bob was a scientist to the core and it goes without saying a true gentleman. I regret that he will not to see an end to the unscientific “global warming” madness that has gripped the world. This is a huge loss. I am resolved to continue the good fight in his memory.

We have lost a great scientist and a very fine person. I first met Bob soon after I started as Executive Director of the IPA in 2005. Bob was then a professor at James Cook University in Queensland. I don't have a science background and what struck me immediately about Bob was the way he could put the most complex scientific questions into understandable terms. The other thing that hit me was his passion. He was passionate about science, about communicating about science, and about the benefits that science could bring to humanity. As is so often the case, the most passionate people are the most enthusiastic and most cheerful, and Bob was no exception. Bob's passion, enthusiasm, and cheerfulness was infectious.

Bob had an incredible record of contribution to science through his public communications and his outstanding academic record across the fields of geology, palaeontology, marine science, and of course climate change. His work was recognised in numerous awards and honours including as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and through the Outstanding Research Career Award of the Geological Society of New Zealand.

Bob was an immensely valued colleague and friend to all of us at the IPA. He will be very sadly missed.

Joanna Hill, AEF Board Member -  Bob’s passing is indeed a great loss to all of us.  Bob was an inspirational scientists and campaigner for evidence based debate on global warming. He will be sadly missed by many and the Australian Environment Foundation members in particular.    

Emeritus Professor Ian Plimer - I first met Bob as the newly appointed Professor and Head of Earth Sciences at James Cook University of North Queensland (JCU).  During his time as Head of Department (1981-1998) at JCU, he led from the front, mentored hundreds of young people, grew the Earth Sciences department from an ore deposit specialist department to one with numerous disciplines of international repute, published scores of leading edge “soft rock” geological papers, opened up new institutes and put JCU on the map internationally. This was not without many internal battles within his Department, Faculty and University which Bob handled with great guile. The university bureaucrats feared him because he was always well-prepared, used knowledge, common sense and logic.

All Bob wanted in climate debates was common sense, repeatable validated evidence and scientific reasoning. He was not prepared to accept a popular concept, poor reasoning or concocted statistics and valued validated evidence over models. He was fearless and suffered because of it. He dared to use scientific training to analyse and criticise claims made by taxpayer-funded global warmists. In response to numerous crank calls, political pressure and complaints from those with vested interests, JCU withdrew his office facilities, unpaid adjunct professorship, his email address and library access.

Bob was a gentleman of passion, a fighter and died with his boots on. We all owe him a great debt of gratitude and it was a privilege to know such a great man. We will miss him terribly. His wife Anne was always at his side and supporting him and our condolences to Anne and their family.

Jennifer Mahrosey, Senior Research Fellow at IPA - Professor Carter did not like the term sceptic, he considered himself a rationalist, and popular usage of the term ‘climate change’ a tautology. As he wrote frequently: the geological record tells us that climate always changes. In Professor Carter’s passing we have lost a person who believed in value-free science.

Professor Carter was a real expert on climate change. He was director of the Australian Office of the Ocean Drilling Program which was an international cooperative effort to collect deep sea cores. From these cores past climates for specific regions have been reconstructed.

In the preface to his first book ‘Climate: The Counter Consensus’ Bob encouraged us to all to “trust authority less and our own brains more” as we assess the likely dangers of both known natural and hypothetical human-caused global climate change. 

“Nobody,” the Professor would joke, “lives in a world climate”. Putting in place policies and plans to mitigate the dangers and vagaries of natural climate change must occur on a regional basis. Putting in place policies and plan to prepare for natural climate change, would, Professor Carter argued, make us ready for human-caused climate change, should it ever become manifest. Even with generous funding for the implementation of national hazard warning and disaster relief schemes, Bob concluded his book with comment that this would cost orders of magnitude less than those associated with the introduction of unnecessary and ineffectual emissions trading schemes.

Michael Smith - In 2006 I must have been a part of the target market for Al Gore's monster money-spinner "An Inconvenient Truth".  Gore's movie moved me so much I remember looking at the kids coming out of the theatre thinking "you poor buggers, we've stuffed the earth up and you are doomed".   I was working with a lot of very very smart people at the University of Queensland as the Chairman of the Business School's advisory board.  The business school was quite entrepreneurial and responded like a flash to demand for skilled leaders the world needed if we were to tackle global warming.   I spoke at conferences to promote the University's carbon accounting finance courses and the like - and I put my heart into it as a true believer.

That is until I spoke with Bob.   Bob changed my life.   He was the person who opened my eyes to the way facts can be manipulated.   More than anyone else, Bob demonstrated the quiet truth about our susceptibility to power and big lies repeated often.

I remember interviewing Bob on Radio 4BC and I made the error of asking Bob for his opinion after my perfect opening monologue.   Bob said, "I don't have an opinion.   I am a scientist.   I don't deal in opinion.  I deal in facts.   Observable, proven facts.  I deal with the scientific method,  making observations, doing experiments and arriving at conclusions.   Your starting point seems to be an unproven hypothesis based on computer projections.  Do you have any facts to back up your claims about global warming?"

Bob changed me in a fundamental way.   He was courageous in a way I'd not experienced at close quarters.  I never saw or heard anyone successfully challenge Bob on questions of fact, nor on the product of his application of the scientific method.   But he wasn't trendy.   He wasn't fashionable.   And in academia in Australia in the time of global warming, he was sure-fire poison for any university's government funding tree.

The late Professor Bob Carter was a wise man.  Thank you for your service to science - and much, much more.

Paul Gammon, Research Scientist, Geological Survey of Canada - Bob was a gentleman through and through and I have always been very grateful to have been lucky enough to have him as my PhD supervisor. Bob taught me a lot, not only about science. The world would be a much better place if there were many, many more people like Bob. Holly and I will raise a toast to Bob’s life tonight,

Susan Crockford - Bob was the kind of scientist the world needs more of. I will miss him very much.

Cate and Mark Stewart - Indeed, your Bob certainly did make the most of every minute in this world, and how wonderful that he chose his life with you beautiful lady. We are the privileged ones to have had Bob and you in our lives, for this, we can never say thank you enough.

Dr. Christopher Essex, Professor at the University of Western Ontario - It is a real blow to lose such a fine thoughtful scientist, who showed such admirable steady courage in defending our scientific values often against the odds and  his best personal interests. 

Craig Fulthorpe - Bob had an enormous influence on my career and I’ve always been so grateful for the guidance he provided when I was just starting out. Marge and I will also always fondly remember, and be thankful for, the wonderful hospitality that both you and Bob provided when we moved to Townsville and during our time there.

Lubos Motl - Bob was not only a scientist with the thinking I found terribly enlightening and close to my heart but primarily a wonderful man.

Vincent Courtil - I had the privilege and pleasure to exchange with Bob and found his analyses very accurate and profound. As a geoscientist at the boundary between geophysics and geology myself, I found it exceedingly important to have the views of a leading geologist on climate topics. The solid Earth interface had been too often forgotten and he re-established some balance. I think it would be important for GWPF and its scientific council to post a statement in Bob's honor.

Rex and Jane Galbraith - I was such a close friend to Bob, especially at school at Lindisfarne where we were "best friends" and soul mates, seemingly with so much in common growing up together. Then again at University in Dunedin where we shared a flat and many experiences, including our joint 21st birthday party -- and other experiences that I would never have had without him. And I can still remember your wedding day in Invercargill.  And ever since then seeing you and Bob whenever you came to the UK. I saw him this time last year in Sydney when we met for a meal. Then, as always, we still conversed in the same close way that we did at school, as if we had met every day since. I will always miss him as a friend.

Chris de Freitas - Bob was a committed defender of common sense and honest science reporting in the climate change debate. He was also a good friend. He will be greatly missed.

Hamish Campbell - Will miss Bob so so much. His intellect was stunning and he was fun personified. In my mind few people engender such wonderful memories and such joy in life as Bob does...or did. This world owes him a spectacular farewell.

Robyn Stutchbury and Noel Tait- I am truly devastated - Bob has always been an inspirational and dear friend. Noel and I pass on our heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. 

John & Ann Rhodes - Bob’s intellect, incisiveness and clarity in communication have been a beacon. If he passed on a fraction of his abilities, his grand-kids are destined to make their marks!

It was in 1978 that we met, when our family came to Dunedin and I joined Doug Coombs’ department as a hanger-on. Many people, both students and staff, made me welcome; but none more so than Bob. As well as sharing many field trips, we visited you at 1 Queens Drive. Among much that I learned from Bob was the power of the 35 mm transparency as a teaching aid, which now seems a little quaint. And over the years since I’ve hugely appreciated his continued communication and visits, although I confess it was hard to feel other than inadequate in his presence. (That was my problem, not Bob’s).


Steve Welcenbach, Reality News, WI - Being just a regular guy from midwestern Wisconsin, I've been so blessed to have had the incredible pleasure of meeting Bob, sharing drinks and ideas with him, besides listening and learning from his incomparable presentations that I could watch over and over again forever.

Please know our family is with you in your sorrow and we will thank God with you for him touching our lives and being the brave, ferocious warrior of truth that he was. We all loved him a lot. Besides being possibly the warmest person I have ever met, he was truly the greatest scientist of my lifetime. And that is saying a whole lot.

Professor Stewart Franks, University of Tasmania - Not only was Bob a true scholar, he was a very caring man. On our recent IPA book launch trip we hit some turbulence – he could see I was on the point of tears, being a very timid flier – he reached down and held my hand through it! He will be greatly missed by all that worked with him

Noel James – Bob’s passing has robbed us of not only of a charming and erudite man but deprived our science and social conscience of a true champion – an independent thinker whose loss will only be recognized with time.  Condolences Anne – I am heartbroken!

Lionel and Sue Carter - Sue and I are deeply saddened by Bob's death. It is very hard to come to grips with the passing of a friend and colleague  who was so much larger than life.  We cannot imagine the loss you feel after decades of married life with all its adventures around the world.

When Nick Shackleton passed away, Bob wrote notified me that a mighty totara had fallen in the forest of Tane. Today another mighty totara has fallen.

Lorna and Ron Bahnisch - Bob seemed so full of life and had so much to give the world. We are thinking of you Anne. You have been very special friends.

Case Smit – Bob’s passing is such a huge loss of a friend and indefatigable warrior for truth in science.

Terry Dunleavy - I am literally in tears as I send you my sincere condolences, and those of us in New Zealand to whom Bob had become such a loyal and wonderful friend, and a wise and ever-willing counsellor. Just as it will be for you in such a poignant and personal way, life will not be the same for us without Bob.

I feel it especially, because I am a non-scientific layman, and Bob understood my many predicaments in the climate debate, and went out of his way, usually by return email, to guide and advise me.  It was truly a privilege to know him as a friend, colleague and fount of wisdom, and I know that this is a feeling that will be shared right around the world.

I’m too upset to say more, but can only think that God must have come to the conclusion that He needed someone at first hand to help Him unravel the whole unscientific mess that the climate debate has become.

Bill Kininmonth - It was with great sadness that I read of Bob’s passing. Over recent years I came to know Bob as a generous friend and colleague. He was always true to himself and this was manifest in his stand in regard to science and policy issues. He will long be remembered for his fearless defence of unbiased analysis and his public criticism of those who attempted to manipulate science for their ideological purposes.

Brad and Sue Pillans - Sue and I were devastated to hear the sad news last night. Bob was a wonderful colleague and friend. Although we will not be able to attend the funeral next week, our thoughts are with you and your family.

David van Gend - Bob has been an inspiration and an excellent teacher to me and to so many. We will not see his like again, but we will not give up his battle for scientific integrity and sanity in public policy.

Jerry Bour, Toowoomba  - Thanks to Bob Carter I got a much clearer picture of the “world” around climate change and that one should be very careful accepting just about any “science” that was produced. He was a man who could put the whole climate change debate into some clear pictures and I thank him for it. He and his family can be proud of his courage’s stance  in respect to climate change and his valuable contribution to it.

Dr Mark Grigoleit - In 2007, when I was trying to muddle through the confusing messages of Climate Change (as it was known then) I watched a video on YouTube by him. It was that passionate presentation, among others, that helped me understand the truth of the issue. I think the graph in question looked like a roller coaster ride over millions of years, and we were near the end of the ride, with the little bumps that many thought were the end of the world.  Yes, he could explain the complex in simple terms. Truly a great scientist, in that regard.

Terry Krieg -  Bob Carter will be sadly missed and his passing has come as a shock. The rest of us must quote him at every opportunity in the ongoing climate change [global warming] debate.

Peter Meadows - Bob was such a glorious person. He was a true scientist; and unfortunately there are now very few of those in the climate debate.  I attended the seminar he was part of last year in Sydney and both Dot and I were entranced by his wit, his knowledge and his ability to get the message on a complicated issue out to us lesser mortals.

He was a warrior for our cause, and he will be sorely missed as we struggle against the "consensus". Unfortunately, now that Turnbull is at the helm, that will become even more difficult, and with Bob gone, we will need to redouble our efforts.

Dr Len Walker, Executive Chairman, Ascot Energy Holdings - We share your sadness and will shed a tear tonight over a toast to Bob in quality shiraz.

Walter and Meredith Starck - Words can't convey our sadness and sympathy at your, and the rational world's, great loss. Bob was a truly rare scholar and gentleman.  

Gerrit & Marianne - Bob has been a huge power in countering the man-made climate change religion. But I also remember him as a geologist, first while he was in Otago. I remember his concept of the “Marshall Paraconformity”. I took part in a 1986 discussion on this concept. And then his involvement in the Deep Sea Drilling project. I was involved in the early days of that. So many good memories! We’ll treasure them. 

Cam & Margaret Nelson - Bob was such a supportive and stimulating colleague of mine in so many ways over several decades, including his interest and enlightenment of me in several topics of common research interest, his active and insightful collaboration in occasional co-authored articles with me, and the kind words he provided for me in a number of references over the years. I am saddened that he passed away so abruptly, and without a chance for me to personally thank him again for the encouraging role he played in my own scientific and professional career.

Heartland has certainly prepared a great bio synopsis on Bob's career, and I know that in due course others will follow suit, including the Geoscience Society of New Zealand. Bob was such an influential player in the geoscience field in the wider Southwest Pacific region his passing will affect a huge number of people.

Mike and Heather Gagan - It was a real privilege and honour to have known Bob. He will be so sorely missed. He was such a wonderful man, and a real inspiration.  I know I speak for all his students in saying that every one of us still enjoy the great benefits of his mentoring.  We'll all miss him.

Paul Dreissen - from the day we met, I always thought Bob was one of the most knowledgeable, interesting, jovial and just plain fun people I knew. I always felt honored to know him and always enjoyed our times together.

Bob was a wonderful, witty, brilliant fellow, and he has left us far too soon. But like you I have many treasured memories of him that will be with me for the rest of my days. Being just a half dozen years younger than he was, I am also much more mindful of how important it is to fill our time with family, love, productive work and enjoyment of this grand world that God has blessed us with, while we are still here. Bob did all of that, and more, and I shall always use him as an inspiration, along with my parents who also embodied those traits.

I'm so grateful for the times we shared, and so glad that Heartland gave Bob its lifetime achievement award. It was richly deserved, and a fine way to recognize the amazing legacy he left behind.

Dave Sivyer - I write to expresss my profound sadness at Bob's passing. He was my touch stone on issues such as media mendacity on the subject of our changing climate.

I live in Narrogin, WA, and have met Bob twice in Narrogin as well as several times in Perth. That he, along with Anthony Watts and David Archibald, gave up valuable time to address a small audience in a country town speaks to his sincerity, integrity and dedication to the promotion of science as it should be.

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Speaker Tony Smith MP on GILLARD misleading the House - TURC found her evidence on home renovations not truthful

On 19 February 2016 we wrote to The Speaker Tony SmithMP about GILLARD's statements to the House of Representatives in which she said she paid for the renovations to her Abbotsford home herself.

Last week the House Standing Committee on Privileges and Members' Interests delivered a finding that Craig Thomson committed a contempt of the Parliament by telling the House he did not steal money from the HSU.   The report about Thomson's behaviour was made to the Committee after a court found that Thomson's version of events was untruthful and some time after he had left the Parliament.

The situation with Gillard is similar to the situation with Thomson.   After she left the Parliament a Royal Commission found that her story about paying for her home renovations was not truthful - it found that Bruce Wilson directed the builder, settled the invoices and handed over the money to pay for the work.

There is now no impediment to bringing GILLARD back before the House over her false statements about who paid for her home renovations.   The first step is for a member of the house to make a complaint.

Here's The Speaker's letter.

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It is now up to you as to what happens next.   Only an MP can report Gillard and the report must be made "at the earliest opportunity".

There are 150 members of the House of Representatives and one of them is yours.   The TURC final report was handed down over the Christmas break.

The finding about Gillard is not prominently displayed in the report, you have to go looking for it.  Most MPs wouldn't know about the finding as it's not been widely report in the mainstream media or elsewhere.

The Parliamentary work year commenced on 2 February, it's now late March.   Contact your MP today and advise your MP about the TURC finding (feel free to use the letter I sent to The Speaker below).   Once your MP has become aware of the finding tell them he or she must report it at "the earliest opportunity" to Speaker Tony Smith.

Remember, it was Thomson's successor in the seat of Dobell who reported Thomson for misleading the House and she reported him after he left the Parliament.

Here is a chance for you to do something about those lies that irritated you for so long.

Do you want the history of the nation in the Hansard to record that Gillard was right?   That the allegations that Bruce paid for her renovations was a smear and the people making the allegations were nut jobs driven by a hatred of women?   That's in the record of the Parliament right now.

You can change it by telling your MP about the truth and what he or she must do right now to protect it.

Here's my original letter to The Speaker.


Letter to the Speaker about the TURC finding on Gillard's false statements that she paid for her renovations herself.

The Honourable Tony Smith MP
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Parliament House  CANBERRA

Dear Speaker,

On Tuesday 27 November 2012 then Prime Minister Julia Gillard made the following statement to the House of Representatives:- link to Hansard here.
Ms GILLARD: I have answered this clearly and publicly on the public record now since 1995. I paid for the renovations at my home. 
Later that day Ms Gillard gave further details to the House:after she was asked whether she could guarantee no AWU slush funds were used for her home renovations. 
Ms GILLARD: On the Deputy Leader of the Opposition's question, I have answered this on a number of occasions. I answered it as early as 1995, and no amount of yelling from the opposition changes that fact. In 1995 I dealt with allegations about renovations on my property. I dealt with them again in 2001. I dealt with them again in 2006. I dealt with them again in 2007 after the Liberal Party shopped around a dirt file on me. I have dealt with them on multiple occasions over the course of this year. I say to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition: check the transcript from yesterday. I stand by that transcript and what I said about my renovations. I stand by the transcript of my press conference in August. I have dealt with these allegations time and time again. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition knows that and ought to check the now very available public record.
The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption conducted an extensive enquiry into Ms Gillard's assertion she "paid for the renovations at (her) home" (AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc, pages 169-189).
It found that Bruce Wilson funded the renovations carried out by the builder Athol James at Ms Gillard's Abbotsford house.   it found that the builder's evidence was truthful and correct and that Ms Gillard's evidence that she had funded the payments herself was not.   
 Following is an extract from the Royal Commission's report:

Bruce Wilson funds Athol James

  1. Athol James, in his witness statement dated 23 May 2014, gave the following evidence:238

    During the work I would deal with Ms GILLARD in relation to any payment for the completed work. I would give her the invoice. I am pretty certain she said she would get money from Bruce and pay me in the next few days. I am certain she said Bruce was paying for it. I am certain I saw Bruce hand Ms GILLARD a large amount of cash on two occasions. Ms GILLARD said to me that as Bruce brought her the cash she would pay me by cheque. When Bruce handed Ms GILLARD the cash she would write me a cheque. I never was paid in cash and I don’t know what happened with the cash Bruce handed her (emphasis added).
  2. In oral evidence, Athol James described the ‘large amount of cash’ handed over as being on each occasion ‘a wad of notes’.239 He also said in oral evidence that it was ‘quite clear in my mind’ that Julia Gillard told him that ‘Bruce was paying for the job’.240 Athol James was very firm. He adhered to his evidence in cross- examination, stating that one payment was made in the passage way and the other in the lounge room.241 He referred to ‘[a] very substantial amount of money’.242

  3. In cross-examination Athol James insisted that he had a clear recollection of events. Indeed he explained that he had a good memory of the particular job because he regarded the Abbotsford property as having been constructed badly:243 

The Commission compared Ms Gillard's version of events with Mr James's evidence.  The Commission's report on the matter explains that it had a:
  1.  ......duty to make a finding one way or the other, if possible, on the basis of two bodies of clear but conflicting evidence. 
It discharged that duty in respect of the story created by Ms Gillard   it found against her.   Her story (that she funded the renovations herself) was false as was her statement to the Parliament.
Here's a further extract from the Commission's report.

Assessing Julia Gillard’s testimony

174. But, it might be asked, why should Julia Gillard’s denials not be accepted? Why should her generally sound and credible evidence be rejected in this one instance? The best answer to those questions is a blunt one. Julia Gillard had been maintaining ever since 1995, in one way or another, that she had paid for all the repairs to her house. She did so on 11 September 1995 in the interview with Peter Gordon and Geoff Shaw. In that interview she said in a qualified way: ‘I believe all of the work was paid for by me.’287 She did so again in her press conference of 23 August 2012, this time in an unqualified way: ‘I paid for the renovations on my home in St Phillip Street in Abbotsford.’288 She did so once more in her press conference of 26 November 2012: ‘I am confident that I paid for the renovations on my home.’289 She coupled that statement of confidence with the following ringing challenge: ‘If anybody has a piece of evidence that says I knowingly received money to which I was not entitled for my renovations, please feel free to get it out. If anybody’s got it, it’s only been 20 years.’290

175. Athol James did have that piece of evidence. Its existence was unknown in 1995 and during the 2012 press conferences. But it was not he who responded to the challenge. When the Victorian police officers traced him through Julia Gillard’s reference to him in the 11 September 1995 interview and questioned him he provided the piece of evidence which she challenged ‘anybody’ to produce. He did not volunteer it. The detectives found it by their own exertions.

176. That placed her in an unenviable position. When at the 11 September 1995 meeting, she put the matter in terms of belief, not certainty, in the passage referred to above, there was some room left to manoeuvre. On that occasion she also said: ‘I can’t categorically rule out that something at my house didn’t get paid

287 Gillard MFI-1, p 150 (emphasis added). 288 Gillard MFI-1, p 160. See also p 167. 289 Gillard MFI-1, p 178. See also p 181. 290 Gillard MFI-1, p 178.


for by the association or something at my house didn’t get paid for by the union.’291 That, too, left room for manoeuvre. But in later statements she said in effect that further consideration in the light of a thorough examination of her documents removed any doubt. One problem with this is that it ignores the real issue. The real issue is not: ‘Did Julia Gillard pay those who worked on her house in full by cheque?’ It is agreed on all hands that she did. The real issue is: ‘What was the source of the money she used to pay them?’ That latter question may well not be capable of answer by simply examining economically phrased documents from tradesmen and comparing them with impressions of what work was done. Her evidence to the Commission did confront that latter question. She answered it by saying: ‘All payments made for renovations on my property were from my own money which was either derived from a loan from the bank or my salary.’292 Athol James contradicted that. Julia Gillard’s position at the 11 September 1995 interview was compatible with Athol James’s evidence. But her later positions were not. By adopting those positions she had dug herself into an inflexible trench which she could not manoeuvre away from.

177. Julia Gillard had two available courses, both dangerous. One was to admit that her memory in 2012 was not perfect and that the tentativeness of 1995 had been the correct position. Had she followed that course, she could have said that she did not remember the incidents that Athol James testified to, that she

291 Gillard MFI-1, p 153.
292 Julia Gillard, witness statement 4, 10/9/13, para 26.


doubted that they happened, but that she could not absolutely deny them. The other was to deny completely what Athol James said. It is regrettable that matters have come to this. To take the first course would have detrimental aspects: she would have had to backtrack from earlier statements. But to take the second placed her in a direct contest of probative value with Athol James. That is always a perilous position for a witness. He said he remembered certain events. She said, not that she does not remember the events, but that they never happened. He had no interest to serve in saying what he said. He had no advantage to be gained. It was nothing to him who paid for the renovations. He was a reluctant witness. She, on the other hand, had every reason to deny what he said. What he said was fatal to the stand she took at the Prime Minister’s press conferences in 2012. She could either climb down or fight. She chose to fight.  Thus she said:293

Q. You told him on a number of occasions that Mr Wilson was paying for the renovations?

A. That’s completely untrue.

Q. Because Mr Wilson was in fact paying for the renovations - -

A. That’s just not true, Mr Stoljar.

Q. - - that’s right, isn’t it?

A. Just not true.

Q. You also told Mr James that as Bruce brought you cash, you would be in a position to pay his bill?

A. That’s just not true. 293 Julia Gillard, 10/9/14, T:850.23-36.


  1. Julia Gillard was in many ways a satisfactory witness. But the manner in which she uttered these words denying what Athol James said seemed to be excessive, forced, and asseverated. There was an element of acting in her demeanour. She delivered those words in a dramatic and angry way, but the delivery fell flat. She protested too much. She chose to fight him. It was a fight in which there could be only one winner. Unfortunately, she lost that fight. Athol James’s testimony is to be accepted over hers. He was a witness of truth. His version of events was correct. 

Ms Gillard's statements in the Parliament about paying for the renovations were false.   She mislead the House.    The Hansard record remains unaltered.   Many people had their reputations damaged by Ms Gillard in retaliation for speaking out about her lies.   The Hansard records that she spoke about some of those people at the same time as she falsely claimed she paid for the renovations:

Ms GILLARD: There is no amount of screaming that makes this falsehood true. I have answered this clearly and publicly on the public record now since 1995. I paid for the renovations at my home. This is smear, pure and simple. 

Let us see how the opposition has put this smear, pure and simple, together. First, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition has spent time with a man who has said he believes he is guilty of fraud and is looking for immunity from that fraud as well as a series of other assertions about his conduct that he himself has made that would make you wonder why the Deputy Leader of the Opposition would spend time with such a person. Then the Deputy Leader of the Opposition today has referred to an affidavit from Bob Kernohan. It is a matter of longstanding public record that this affidavit was drawn up by John Pasquarelli of One Nation. So there we have the Deputy Leader of the Opposition meeting with a man who, on his own admission, is guilty of fraud, and there is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition coming into this parliament and relying on the work of One Nation for smear, pure and simple.

May I ask that you let me and my readers know what steps the Parliament will take to correct the record?    What will the House do to help restore the reputations of those people Ms Gillard attacked/    What sanctions could the Parliament bring against the former Prime Minister for misleading the House?
I propose to treat this note as an open letter and to publish it and any reply I might receive.
Yours sincerely,
Michael Smith


Julia Louise-Dreyfus on the origins of Malcolm Turnbull's "Continuity with Change"

UPDATE - confirmation that the end of Seinfeld marked the end of pop culture history for me.  I first posted about Turnbull's continuity and change last night blissfully unaware of a show called Veep.   Stu of NT sent me the glaringly obvious VEEP reference with the video of the artist formally known as Elaine (OK, formerly for most).

Here is a still from the Turnbull training videos known as VEEP.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 11.19.45 am

So hard to get a halfway decent slogan that captures the quintessence of our leader's vacuity of purpose.

Turnbull on his achievements. Continuity with change and an innovation agenda that's an innovation itself.

Last night the prime minister was on the ABC's 730 program to explain why it was worth it to knife Tony Abbott.

Even wildly optimistic predictions from Turnbull supporters didn't see this coming.

What do we have now that we wouldn't have had if Tony Abbott stayed on?

Here it is.   

Continuity.  And change.  Continuity of leadership along with change.   Plus an innovation agenda that's an innovation of the Turnbull Government itself.

Worth it or what?

PS - Inovation is a buzz word used by tossers.

Innovation is a synonym for improvement.

So stripped of his luvvie support - what is Turnull's big idea that Tony couldn't deliver?

Improvement.   A nationwide improvement agenda.   With a website and videos with futurists and thinkers talking about improvements to things.

What a great idea!   Improvement.   Why hadn't someone thought of that before?


Hillary Clinton "if you see a bully, stand up to him". Unless the bully is Hillary, if so ask for $1M and settle for $500K.

Anti-sexism campaigner Hillary presumes all bullies that need to be stood up to are men. 

This just in from the Washington Times.

Hillary Clinton goes after Trump in AIPAC speech: ‘If you see a bully, stand up to him’

Presumably if it's a woman like Hillary who's doing the bullying, don't stand up to her.   Just trust that the bimbo so-called victim deserved it.


Humiliation of Hillary Clinton: She spouts feminism but even women say she's a dishonest bully 

  • Hillary Clinton lost the New Hampshire primary to Bernie Sanders
  • 83 per cent of Democratic voters under the age of 30 voted against her
  • Bernie Sanders also won 78 per cent of first-time voters
  • Donald Trump pulled away from the Republican field winning 35 per cent 

During the decades I have been a BBC reporter, I have interviewed thousands of people: angry people, sad people, political duckers and weavers, serious thinkers — all human life.

But nothing prepared me for the day after Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2008. You might remember it for the balloons and tears of joy inside the building. I remember it for one interview outside.

‘How do you feel?’ was my imaginative question. But it was enough. The woman let rip. Ghastly, she said. Devastated. Bitter. In fact, she told me: ‘I was raped as a teenager but I have never felt as violated as I do today.’

A fight on her hands: Hillary Clinton with husband BillA fight on her hands: Hillary Clinton with husband Bill

My jaw dropped. We couldn’t use her comments on the news. Too tasteless and offensive, particularly given the racial tinge — the victor being a black man and Hillary a white woman — but those words have stuck with me since.

Read more: 

Hillary Clinton bullied Bill’s ‘victims’ into silence, says Donald Trump

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Hillary Clinton speaks in Keota, Iowa.


Hillary Clinton’s claim to be a champion for women — one of her key political assets — is under attack as Donald Trump draws fresh attention to her husband’s history of philandering.

Mrs Clinton, the overwhelming favourite to be the Democrats’ presidential nominee, is striving to shatter what she has called the “highest, hardest glass ceiling” — the barrier that has, for more than two centuries, kept a female from the Oval Office. In recent days, however, Mr Trump’s campaign has attempted some political jujitsu: it is portraying Mrs Clinton as an enemy of women, saying she abetted her husband’s alleged sexual predations by bullying his victims into silence.

A war of words between the two escalated over the weekend after it emerged that Mr Clinton will begin to campaign for his wife next month. “Hillary Clinton has announced that she is letting her husband out to campaign but he’s demonstrated a penchant for sexism, so inappropriate!” Mr Trump tweeted.


Vile woman.

Could Mike Baird be more out of touch? And warnings from the wise on the folly of pretending

Exhibit One

Tasteless, self-interested exploitation on Baird's part - the sort of thing we expected from Rudd and Gillard.

This media alert warns of an impending awkward, stiff encounter between a shameless premier prepared to use people as a backdrop to his self-promotion and a family who are said to have just arrived here from unspeakable conditions in as foreign a culture from ours as one could imagine.   How does it benefit anyone for Mr Baird's team to parade the lucky contestants who get to feature in the story of Mike's Magnificence today, sorry to all those who missed out on selection - (hint for next time, get a cute kid or two in on your act).

This reminds me of circuses of old where audiences would roll up to stare at the exotic freak show people.  Look, real refugees, which one do you think looks the most distressed?

 Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 6.30.47 am Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 6.31.07 am

Exhibit Two - the pretence lingers

More love from the great pretenders who took root during Rudd and are flowering for Malcolm.

Now hear this, now hear this, Australia celebrates today.

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Exhibit three - the warning from Europe


Douglas Murray gave this speech in the United States in January 2013.

The awful truth about Islamism is simple.

Unless we confront and destroy it, it will destroy us.

The longer we pretend otherwise the harder our task.

Malcolm Turnbull has a plan to stop Islamic terror against the West. More love for Muslims.

According to the Turnbull response to terror, when we love Islam enough, Islam will cease attacking our civilisation.

Turnbull's right - of course. When we've all signed up to loving Islam, there'll be no West to attack. Until then, Malcolm, all the love in the world won't keep them away.

Ralph Blewitt wants the letter from Bill Ludwig's lawyers to Slater and Gordon about slush fund money in the Kerr Street purchase

Thanks to Victoria's Supreme Court we now know that Bill Ludwig's lawyers wrote to Slater and Gordon on the same day that Ralph used AWU WRA inc money and an AWU WRA Inc cheque to pay $67K into the Slater and Gordon Trust Account to finalise settlement on the Kerr Street purchase.

The Court describes that document 

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The police don't have this document.   The Trade Union Royal Commission didn't refer to this document.   If it wasn't for Ralph's claim, the document might never again see the light of day.

That document is a missing link between Ralph depositing this cheque into the Slater and Gordon Trust Account:

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And Slater and Gordon's false entry in its Trust Account Ledger recording Ralph Blewitt instead of the AWU WRA Inc as the source of the money.

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That false entry covered up for the AWU WRA Inc fraudsters.   So how far up the AWU tree did the involvement go? This fax from Sciacca's to Slaters should tell us and Ralph Blewitt wants to see it.

Looks like he has a pretty good claim to it given what he knows about Slater and Gordon and the furtherance of his frauds.

I understand this note is being sent to Slater and Gordon MD Andrew Grech today.


Dear Mr Grech,

Thank you for acting for me to further our fraudulent purchase of 1/85 Kerr Street, Fitzroy in February 1993.
For the avoidance of doubt, I didn't buy the property as an investment. That was a false story Julia Gillard and Bruce Wilson came up with to cover up the truth about our fraud.  Kerr Street was bought with tainted money from an unlawful slush fund Julia Gillard set up, the AWU Workplace Reform Association.  
Julia and your firm also helped out in laundering more money we received secretly and illegally from Thiess Contractors.   Records from your firm show it lent $150,000 to me secured by first mortgage against the Kerr Street property.   That was a sham.   All the money paid under that mortgage came from the slush fund Julia, Bruce and I set up. 
No one from Slater and Gordon asked me if I wanted that loan or about my tax affairs or my income and assets. I wasn't spoken to at all by anyone from Slater and Gordon before it  made the loan in my name. I didn't make any application to you for a loan.   I never authorised Bruce Wilson to apply for a loan in my name.   Your firm helped further our fraud by allowing Wilson to use a dodgy Power of Attorney to get the mortgage when  even I can see the PoA document itself authorised the Donee (Wilson) to buy a property.  It didn't say he could borrow money  in my name.     No one from Salter and Gordon checked with me because the solicitor who acted for me was Julia Gillard and she was in on the scam.
Gillard knew that putting the money laundering loan you gave to our joint criminal endeavour into my name was all part of our fraud.    Once again thank you Slater and Gordon for your work in furthering our crime spree, we couldn't have done it without you.  You even let Bruce use the PoA to make a Statutory Declaration involving declarations about my knowledge of things involved in the mortgage.  You must believe Bruce had mind-reading powers because you let him make and use that Stat Dec solemnly vowing and declaring that he's truthfully answered questions about what's in my head.
The AIRC subpoenas my records at your firm
In August 1996 Slater and Gordon contacted me to say the Industrial Relations Court had subpoenaed documents associated with the purchase of 1/85 Kerr Street Fitzroy.   Slater and Gordon told me that I should try to stop the documents from getting into the court by "maintaining" a claim of client legal privilege over them.   I assumed this was just another of the many things the firm had done to further our fraud in the first place and later to cover it up.   I knew there were heaps of things you wouldn't want any court to see.
Back then I was an active crook with my co-conspirators Bruce and Julia Gillard so I took your advice about how to cover up what we'd done.   To me it was just like when I took your advice about suing for defamation as  blokes started to ask questions about the union's finances and dodgy things i'd done with Julia and Bruce.
Slater and Gordon told me what words to write to maintain a claim of privilege so as to keep the Kerr Street documents away from the court.   I wrote out the letter and sent it as requested.   I was never told what documents Slater and Gordon held, what was covered by the subpoena or the result at the court.   I had no idea you had a fax from Bill Ludwig's lawyers about the $67 shown in your trust account as coming from me.   Wily old Bill!   No wonder you didn't want the court seeing that!
Coming clean and going straight
By 2012 I was getting on in years and I decided to come clean about the crimes I was a party to when I was knocking around with Bruce and Julia.  
Around August 2012 there were quite a few reports popping up in the press about the illegal things we got away with back in the 90s.   Some of those reports were about the way Slater and Gordon helped us cover up our crime spree.   I am sorry for any hurt our crimes caused the decent people who work at your firm so I hope you'll join me in exposing the dodgy people there who were party to the crookedness.
On 14 August 2012 Andrew Grech wrote to me asking that I waive privilege over the conveyance and mortgage documents so your firm could "defend its reputation:".   That alerted me to the fact you still had my documents - so thanks for that letter Andrew, I'd have been none the wiser without you looking after your self-interest.
I engaged Bob Galbally to represent me.   Bob wrote to you and you had various discussions with Bob where he asked you for details of all the documents and files associated with me in your possession.   I waived privilege on the mortgage and conveyance files and Bob asked you for a full copy of each.  You produced two files in answer to that request, Bob inspected them and you gave him what you said were complete copies.
On 31 August 2012 Bob wrote to you and said there were documents missing from those files.
On 4 September 2012 you replied to Bob, your letter in full is here.
In part your letter says, "There are no documents pertaining to the AWU Workplace Reform Association which are or were associated with the conveyance.......".   Really?   That's not what you told the Supreme Court after the police raided your offices.
In relation to the approximately $67K that came from the slush fund to settle the Kerr Street purchase you say in your letter to Mr Galbally "You will note from the ledger and the trust account receipt that it noted that the monies were paid by direct deposit and the records show that it was paid by your client."   That's me, Ralph Blewitt - coming up with $67K?  I did no such thing.
Thanks for advising that you have records that show that I was the source of the $67K.   That's news to me and I'd love to know more.
What records show that?  I know you wouldn't destroy evidence, so I presume you still have them.   But it makes me wonder, have you really given me all the documents you hold or held in this matter?   Do you hold documents about my transaction that you have not told me about?  Did you lie to me when you said there were no documents about the AWU WRA associated with the conveyance or did you lie to the Supreme when you sought privilege over the Sciacca note?
I did not provide the money that was paid to Slaters.   We got it from Thiess.   I didn't have $67,000 and my wife might have cut off my manhood if she heard about anything like that.   The money came from the slush fund, not me.   So what records are you talking about?   Could it be the facsimile from Bill Ludwig's lawyer Con Sciacca that describes the money and was sent to you on the same day as i paid the AWU WRA cheque in to your Trust Account?
New information
By early 2013 Victoria Police were on our tail.  The writing was on the wall, the jig was up.   
On 5 June 2013 the police completed the execution of a search warrant on your premises and took away a sealed envelope titled Slater and Gordon privileged and confidential.
On 26 August 2013 the Supreme Court of Victoria heard your unopposed application that the documents in that envelope be declared privileged and remain confidential.
What I didn't know until recently was that those documents are to do with furthering the fraudulent purchase of 1/85 Kerr Street in my name.   The purchase that used tainted money that we laundered through your trust account.   Money that was the proceeds of crime.
Of particular interest to me is the document you have but never told me about from my mate Bill Ludwig's lawyers Sciacca and Co.   They wrote to you on the day I paid the $67K from the sham slush fund into your Trust Account.   By sham slush fund I mean the one Julia Gillard set up and went in to bat for when corporate regulators saw through our scam and queried our bona fides - i.e. the AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc.
Looks like you left a bit out when your Mr Higgins wrote to me on 8 April 2013, just before the coppers arrived with the warrant:
You will note that the ledger reflects that the transactions you have inquired about involved a Direct Deposit in your name. You are aware you deposited those funds at a Commonwealth Bank Branch in Western Australia. As previously advised to your lawyers there is no reference in your conveyance or mortgage file concerning where you sourced those funds.
Looks like you did have documents about how the slush fund money found its way into your trust account and was recorded in my name.  The Supreme Court was kind enough to publish details about the documents over which you claimed privilege.   I've attached the list  of those documents for your convenience.
Now that I know those documents are to do with me and the fraudulent purchase of the Kerr Street property, I would like a copy of them please ASAP.
If you reckon those documents are protected by a client privilege claim you make, then let me be clear.   Everything to do with the Kerr Street purchase was fraudulent.   F R A U D fraud.   It was paid for with illegally obtained money we got from Thiess through the slush fund Gillard set up.   We laundered more illegally obtained money  through your firm's trust account using the dodgy mortgage you let Wilson put in my name.
There is no client legal professional privilege over things you did to further our fraud. 
Police have told me I am going to be charged over my role in our frauds.   I need the document from Sciacca's about the dodgy $67K payment from the slush fund that went into your trust account in my name.   That document is evidence and I put you on notice that is is required for my upcoming trial.  But more than that, it's directly a document associated with you acting for me.   It describes this controversial payment of $67K made in my name.   I am entitled to that document and I formally ask you to hand it over.
By cob Friday 25 March I request that yousend me copies of the documents listed in Annex A to the Supreme Court's orders of 26 August 2013 relating to the purchase of 1/85 Kerr Street Fitzroy in my name. 
Have a nice day.
Ralph Edwyn Blewitt
Recovering corporate fraudster
PS - good people are being hurt by your continuing cover up.   Come clean guys, you're lawyers - you're not supposed to help conceal crimes are you?

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Julia Gillard's name was removed from registered legal practitioners list after she was sacked from Slater and Gordon


Comment from Corporate Counsel in a large Australian service business

Hi Michael

Every single lawyer I know who has moved on to non-legal things has always kept renewing their annual practising certificates. You always want to remain a registered lawyer – it’s common sense.

NB: in WA the annual renewal fee for 2015-16 was $1,250 – an abolsute pittance for your meal ticket.

Kind regards


Thanks to reader A for making these enquiries on our behalf.

Gillard last practiced law in August 1995 when she gave legal advice to Bruce Wilson to help cover up his frauds in Melbourne.   On 11 September 1995 Peter Gordon and Geoff Shaw of Slater and Gordon made a tape recorded Record of Interview with Gillard and she went on leave straight afterwards, never to return.

The firms partnership meeting minutes record the approval of Slater and Gordon paying for Gillard's legal expenses after the departure interview.   There are also records of the firm's meetings with lawyers for the professional indemnity insurer at that time on AWU and Kerr Street property purchase issues.      Elements of Gillard's improper actions in furthering Wilson and Blewitt's frauds constitute notifiable events under the standard indemnity insurance coverage.   There would have been consequences for the malfeasance probably including undertakings to the insurer.

She had no job to go to and didn't secure paid work until May the next year when she was made Chief of Staff to Opposition leader John Brumby.   

Reader A writes:

The attached file contains extracts from the 1996 and 1997 editions of the Australian Legal Directory.
In the 1996 directory, there is an entry for Julia Eileen Gillard in the list of legal practitioners and her name also appears in the entry for Slater & Gordon in the list of firms.
There is no entry for Julia Eileen Gillard in the 1997 directory.
Entries for the 1996 directory were corrected to 15 November 1995 and the directory was published on 1 February 1996.
Entries for the 1997 directory were corrected to 15 November 1996 and the directory was published on 1 February 1997.

Records f0r 1996 show Gillard's registration as a legal practitioner and Slaters partner

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By November 1996 Gillard's name had been removed from the register 

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It seems unlikely that someone with a reputation to protect and uncertain job prospects would fail to renew their legal practice certificate voluntarily.

Last night I sent this note to an experienced lawyer who, like Gillard, moved from the active practice of the law to a management career: 

Mate what are the practical real world reasons someone would not renew their certificate?

He said,

Leaving profession after being disgraced.
Most people would keep renewing just in case.  I have been for the past 16 years,  just in case.


Renewal of a practising certificate is not automatic.

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Trump - Hilary Clinton has been involved in corruption for most of her professional life. Agreed.

I agree with him.   Trump has neutralised the Clinton's pact with the US media that protected them from scrutiny. His allegation today is a serious, considered statement.

Stand by for some major developments in cases against Clinton and her husband the fraudster Bill.

The world is already dangerous enough without further Clinton input.